Answering Johnny Robertson – December 23, 2007

And so it begins.

We told Armando that Johnny would be showing clips from the debate for weeks to come, cutting up things to show how he “won”, and how Armando “lost”. Some thoughts:

1) I tend to agree with Johnny that “testimony” is pretty subjective, and anyone can have one. However, Johnny, what do you do with the fact that it is Biblical to have a testimony? The word “testimony” comes from the root Greek word “martys”, which simply means “a witness” in a legal, historical or ethical sense. This word is found several times in the NT. One example, in Acts 22:18, the apostle Paul tells of a warning: “And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.”

So could you explain where you get the authority to deny the place of a “testimony” in the Christian experience?

2) I’ve sat through half a dozen episodes of “What Does the Bible Say?” waiting for Johnny to tell me what the Bible says about his argument for his interpretation of Scripture that miracles have ceased. He mentioned it briefly in the debate, but unless I missed it, he never explained it fully. And the burden of proof lies on Johnny to explain this, since the Bible is full of stories of people experiencing miracles and healings.

What about 1 Corinthians 12:9?

3) Johnny was correct when he says that everyone who was healed by Jesus received their healing before the day was out. But, was that setting a pattern?

4) Future Callers: don’t bring up Johnny’ past. As Randy said, this is irrelevant. Do you know that quite a few Christians, who are decent, moral, Godly people, have checkered pasts? This the amazing thing about the Gospel – that it redeems us from our past. It’s a wasted point to call in and bring up Johnny’s past. Just argue his doctrine! There’s enough faulty there that we don’t have to go digging into his past.

5) Johnny had a phone call from a man who asked where non-Church of Christ relatives who had died are now. Johnny quoted John 3:13 that says, “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.” to show that people who have died are in a sort of “limbo” (which sounded eerily like the Catholic purgatory). However, as I read that verse and consider the context, I disagree with Johnny’s interpretation. I read it as not teaching that no one has ever seen or entered heaven. It teaches that no man ever climbed up into heaven by his own power. The only one who has ever ascended to heaven in His own strength is the One who originated in heaven and came down to earth before He ascended. Two examples to illustrate: Elijah and Enoch.

Enoch:

Genesis 5:24 “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”

Hebrews 11:5 “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his
translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (Oh! A testimony that pleased God!)

Elijah:

2 Kings 2:1 “And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2 Kings 2:11 “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and
parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

So, it would seem that there is precedent for people being taken into heaven. Now, Johnny argued last night that there are apparently different levels of heaven, and he used Paul’s testimony to prove it: 2 Cor 12:2 “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”

I appreciated that Johnny spoke about not understanding this. It was the closest I’ve ever heard him come to admitting that he had his own interpretation about Scripture (although he certainly didn’t say that).

However, Jesus did tell the thief on the cross, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43, and that Greek word “paradeisos” can be translated “heaven”.

6) I was surprised to hear Johnny say that it was fine for children to believe in Santa Claus. But, then, since he doesn’t celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, I can see why he’d feel this way. Glad to hear that they give gifts in the Robertson household on December 25.

Finally, I was watching the program with a friend who doesn’t often watch our CofC preachers. At the conclusion, I asked what he thought. His main complaint was that Johnny’s use of clips, where he will edit the clip to repeat his main point over and over, was “audio torture”. In other words, it didn’t help Johnny’s argument, but just came off as irritating. I agree! I told this to James Oldfield months ago, and he said that repetition is a teaching tool. Well, this kind of repetition is just plain annoying.

But, Johnny and James just love doing it! So, since it really hurts their cause for them to continue doing it, I’ll not encourage them to change. Norm Fields, you need to start doing this repetition thing, too!

Well, that’s about it. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

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15 thoughts on “Answering Johnny Robertson – December 23, 2007

  1. hmmm…. i saw most of the debates and i would say Armando was clearly the winner. Johnny wouldn’t stay off he subject of miracles when Armando sateted that he doesn’t do the miracles only God can. I deffinetly think armando can beat Johhny again.

  2. i have several phone calls and God is putting it all together.

    Love ya all

    Oh i dont worry about Johnnys chop shop because God is a winner in the end.

    Love Pastor Deloa

  3. Testimony is powerful, it let’s us know that God still can. if Paul did not have a testimony than why would we need the Bible. Johnny does not believe in testimonys nor does he believe in God. Every believer must have faith . Faith, is the ultimate in God Jesus said “if” we have faith as the grain of mustard faith. Faith moves God , God loves faith in a person. Faith proves God can . Johnny wants to say and i believe now, dealing with Johnny that he not only has no faith but, has an Antichrist spirit.

  4. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with healthy scepticism. Johnny is right to question testimonies, because so many people out there take a molehill and turn it into a mountain by creating a “testimony” around it.

    I guess the real question is – how do you know when a testimony is valid?

  5. I think it’s important to understand Testimony isn’t given for on eto brag about where they came from but rather where they can Go through God. I think Johnny has no spine by simply antagonising the phrases “Show us a Miracle”. he didn’t even want to open the Subject of TRINITY when I think that’s perhaps one of the modern day confusions in congregations and in Homes. It’s senseless to think that GOD is THREE “seperate” and distince beings.

  6. It seems Armando wants this blog to turn another direction. I think this blog is directed to the local teachings of our TV Church of Christ folk. The debate is over Armando and you were declared the winner, maybe not soley on doctrine, but still you came out “looking like the winner”.

    Our local CofC guys teach one MUST have the Lords supper each Sunday and if not you are in sin and not even part of the real Church-things like this is what we want to address.

  7. This is the crazy part – that Johnny doesn’t seem to get. If he would just be more Christlike – he would have a much more “successful” ministry. But, he seems to think that irritating people makes him more pious.

    I’m actually glad that he is so irritating, because at least you know what you’re getting! Armando is so much more dangerous because his character seems so much more like Jesus, even if his doctrine is off (IMO).

  8. Annsweringchurchofchrist: I think your doctrine is off. None of you want to correspond by email. I appreciate you all but, if i am wrong in doctrine why not talk to me. If i am wrong the bible says to have an answer concening my soul if i am wrong in doctrine. You all were very kind to me while i was in spiritual battle but, ladies and gentlemen Johnny is a false novice teacher. His fruit manifested that was important and if we are going to go by the bible than you have to admit that his fruit is wrong he cant have a christ like Spirit he dont believe in the Spirit cant you see that. He said “I dont Believe in the Holy Spirit” in order to have a christ like Spirit he has to repent of his wicked ways. People dont be deceived by Johnnys ways . Even if he would debate me on Trinity or Baptism Scripturally he would have lost because he still would have lost his Ethics.

  9. Hi Armando,

    I’ll be happy to correspond by email. You can write me at replycofc@hotmail.com.

    I don’t disagree with you about Johnny – although I don’t think he doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit. I think he just disagrees with you about what the Holy Spirit means to the Christian on a daily basis.

    Of course, if he’d take part in our blog, he could answer that question for himself, but he won’t do it.

    As to your debate on the Trinity, I already declared the winner on that issue. Maybe you two could debate it again in the future.

  10. Below is an email from Johnny I recieved today:

    Johnny says: We are not looking for anyone who does not grade on facts. Randy what you all can’t see is that we do not work on the same assumptions as you. We believe that God will work with just a few honest, faith filled people. I have folks writing to me asking how I keep going with all the folks trying to knock us down. My response is two fold. Most people do not know the great things that I enjoy. The brethren who work with me are seeing great success as result of the work we do here. Brant Stubblefield who came in the summer is about to do a campaign in Dallas and has been able to pull it together as result of the efforts here. No one has ever seen anyone get away with what we do, and they are encouraged to try it themselves.
    2nd I know that God is on my side and when that is the case I know what is happening beyond our sight (2Kings 6:15)

    That is why I am about to sign papers for yet another property for the church to start meeting in Stoneville NC.
    I don’t guess your faithful spies told you that?

    You may call the program a preacher school if you like, it is for training men 2Tim 2:2. You can call it Johnny’s school if you like. I am the one raising the funds for it and I am the one , with God’s kind hand ever so near, who is the push to get it going.

    To those who are on your blog, I hope that they are getting something from their effort, because it is an absolute flattery for us that you all have dedicated this site to us.
    To those who examine us I say this
    try to find something on me besides my past. Bringing up my past just demonstrates the way denominations are. They say they are “forgiving and loving” but oh well you can finish the rest

    My supporters are convinced more than ever that we are getting to the folks around here when the blog appeared.

  11. I believe in the Lords Supper but, i know there is a specific time according to scripture to fullfill this . I believe in foot washing and makeing the bread by scratch as well as importing the wine from israel . if you would like the teaching that i have it is over 25 pages long it would be better if you read it. I go into the dates and history.

  12. Wow, you get all of that from your study???!! My guess is because you want to follow the example perfectly…do you exclude women from the Lords supper, I dont see them there in Acts having the Lords supper and they were also in an upper room. I dont really have much to say, it just never amazes me at how you legalist go to such extremes. You and Johnny would make a great team and thats not being sarcastic-thats the the truth. I am not interested in the 25 pages you have, you have told me quite enough on this matter.

  13. There is a right way and a wrong way. if you want to be ignorant on what you believe that is fine the scripture says if any man is ignorant let him be ignorant. The 25 pages is history and extensive studies on dates and why starting from the Exodus. I am writing a book and i hope one day i can publish it. With God’s help. but, not to offend when you guys in this forum write i take in consideration of everything you guys write . All i am trying to do is be a blessing maybe we can learn but, some of you take offense to subjects. I wouldnot any way . Bless you. And, no we dont exclude woman they are believers as well.

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